A Guide to the Best GPS for Truckers
A Guide to the Best GPS for Truckers - AllTruckJobs.com

A Guide to the Best GPS for Truckers

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best GPS for truckers

Not every GPS is created equal. When it comes to trucking, finding the right navigation system can mean the difference between a smooth haul and a series of mishaps on the road. Anyone who has driven a big rig knows that the road can often lead to the unknown. This is where having the best GPS for truckers is worth its weight in gold.

We’ll explore the key features that make a GPS device ideal for truck drivers, review the top products on the market, and discuss how to match a GPS with specific trucking needs. We’ll also look into the future of truck GPS technology for truck drivers, providing a glimpse of what’s to come in this rapidly changing space.

Key Features to Look for in a Truck GPS

Key features for the best gps for truckers

Google Maps can be useful for normal drivers, but it is not the best GPS for trucking. When investing in truck GPS devices, it’s crucial to understand the features that can make life on the road easier and more secure.

Customized Truck Routing

One of the most critical features of a truck GPS is the ability to provide custom truck routing, considering factors such as vehicle type, size, weight, and cargo type.

Look for a device that offers customizable route settings to avoid low bridges, tunnels, and other hazards that could be disastrous for an oversized vehicle.

Customized routes can allow you to make a fuel-efficient route by directing you along the most efficient paths, taking into account the specific vehicle and its fuel consumption characteristics.

Additionally, it can significantly reduce the risk of costly fines and penalties by avoiding routes with restrictions on weight or height. It can allow for easy break planning. Finally, such tailored navigation aids in cutting down travel time, ensuring timely deliveries, and satisfying customers.

Lifetime Truck Maps and Traffic Updates

lifetime maps

The ideal truck GPS should offer lifetime map updates, ensuring that you always have the latest information on new roads and changes to existing routes. Traffic updates are also a must-have, enabling you to avoid congestion and plan your drive more efficiently.

Additionally, these free map updates sometimes include vital information on rest areas, fuel stops, and truck stops, which is essential for planning long hauls. With lifetime traffic updates, truck drivers can also receive real-time driver alerts about road conditions, traffic patterns, and accidents, helping to avoid unnecessary delays.

This feature not only saves time but also contributes to a safe driving experience by allowing drivers to anticipate and prepare for potential hazards on their route.

Live Services and Connectivity

Real-time data services can be invaluable, such as weather information, fuel prices, and parking locations. Some truck GPS units offer built-in connectivity or the ability to connect to your smartphone to access these live services.

Live services can also provide alerts for upcoming speed limit changes, helping truckers adjust their speed accordingly to avoid tickets. Connectivity options may include Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, enabling updates and downloads without the need for a computer.

Furthermore, these services can enhance route planning with information on the best times to travel to avoid high-traffic areas or severe weather conditions.

Display and User Interface

The display should be bright and large enough for easy viewing, even in the full glare of direct sunlight. Today’s best GPS units support multimedia functions which allow for more personalized set-ups and uses. A user-friendly, modern interface is also key, allowing you to quickly input destinations and modify settings without distraction.

Touchscreen functionality enhances the user experience, making it simpler for drivers to interact with the truck’s GPS system while on the move. Voice command capabilities are another advantage, enabling truck drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Additionally, customizable screens allow drivers to prioritize the information most important to them, such as estimated arrival time, on-screen alerts, or current speed.

Battery Life and Mounting Options

Battery life should be sufficient for the longest stretches you may drive without needing a charge. Mounting options that ensure the screen is clearly visible from the driver’s seat help to prevent the need to take your eyes off the road.

A versatile GPS for truck drivers will also offer various mounting options, such as suction cup windshield mounts, dashboard mounts, and even air-vent mounts, ensuring that drivers can position their devices in the most convenient spot.

It’s important that the mount is sturdy enough to hold the truck GPS securely, even on the bumpiest of roads. Lastly, a quick-release feature can be quite beneficial, making it easy for drivers to remove the GPS unit when needed without hassle.

Top 5 GPS Devices for Truckers: A Comprehensive Review

overview of GPSs

Here are the top 5 GPS devices that have been making a mark on truck drivers for their performance and utility.

Our top recommendations have been selected to make navigation simpler and more efficient for truck drivers on the road. Each device has unique features tailored to meet the needs and challenges that every truck driver faces daily.

Through reliability and advanced technology, these GPS devices aim to enhance the overall driving experience, ensuring safety and timely deliveries.

Garmin Dezl Series

The Garmin Dezl series is a long-standing favorite among truckers for its dependable performance and robust feature set. With a large display and tailor-made truck routing, it’s a workhorse designed for the long haul.

In addition to this product, Garmin also has the Garmin Drive App, which is free to use in association with their products.


The Garmin Dezl series boasts a user-friendly interface making navigation and settings adjustments simple and quick. Its lifetime map and traffic updates ensure that drivers have the most current information for safer, more efficient routes.

Additionally, the enhanced connectivity features provide valuable real-time information, such as weather conditions and fuel prices.


The Garmin Dezl series comes with a higher price tag, which may not fit every budget. For example, the Dezl OTR1010 is $449.99 for the 7″ display and $899.99 for the 10″ display.

Rand McNally TND

Rand McNally, a trusted name in trucking, offers the TND line with its hallmark routing technology. What sets it apart is the inclusion of entertainment options like music and audiobooks, making those rest stops more enjoyable.


The Rand McNally TND series is celebrated for its precise navigation and user-friendly interface. Every truck driver can easily maneuver through alternate routes.

It incorporates entertainment features, like music and audiobooks, transforming long drives into more enjoyable journeys. The ‘breadcrumb’ feature is also invaluable for a truck driver, offering a safe way to retrace steps after unexpected detours.

The price range for these also varies. The TND Tablet 85 Truck GPS costs $549.99. Another positive is that this line has many accessories for protecting and mounting GPS devices in any vehicle.


The Rand McNally TND lineup has been criticized for its occasional glitches and updates that can interrupt route planning. The screen size may not compete with the larger displays available in the market today.

Lastly, some users find the device’s battery life to be shorter than expected, which could pose a problem during long hauls without access to a power source.

Cobra SC Series

The Cobra SC Series stands out for its specialized focus on serving the trucking community. It has premium features such as professional-grade truck navigation, live traffic updates, and a commitment to accurate, truck-friendly routes.

It’s built to ensure that professional drivers reach their destinations efficiently and safely.


The Cobra SC Series has a high-definition touchscreen display, which provides crisp and clear visuals for easy navigation.

Its integration of real-time traffic updates ensures truckers can anticipate and avoid delays, making for a smoother and more predictable driving experience.

One of the series’ highlights is its focus on safety. Features such as speed limit alerts and lane departure warnings help drivers stay safe on the road. Another significant advantage is its hands-free operation capability, allowing drivers to maintain focus on driving while managing routes through voice commands.

Another positive is the series is affordable. The Cobra SC 400D is $399.95. Lastly, its robust database of truck-specific points of interest aids drivers in locating essential services such as rest stops, weigh stations, and gas stations without hassle.


Despite its compelling features, the Cobra SC Series is not without its drawbacks. Some users have reported the interface to be somewhat complex, requiring a steeper learning curve than other models. This complexity can lead to longer setup times and adjustments while moving.

Furthermore, while innovative, the voice command feature may sometimes misinterpret commands, leading to frustration and potential distractions.

Lastly, while the device offers a broad range of truck-specific points of interest, there have been instances where the database was not as up-to-date as expected, leading drivers to non-existent or closed locations.

Sygic Truck Navigation

Sygic Truck Navigation is gaining traction among truckers because of its smart solutions that are tailored to heavy vehicles. It leverages high-quality maps and robust routing algorithms designed specifically for semi-trucks, RVs, and buses, accounting for road restrictions like bridge heights and weight limits across various countries.


Sygic stands out for its offline maps feature, which allows drivers to access vital navigation information without an internet connection, saves data, and ensures reliability in remote areas.

Its real-time traffic information helps avoid congestion, and customizable truck profiles allow for precise route planning according to the vehicle’s size and weight.

Additionally, the voice-guided directions help keep the driver’s eyes on the road, enhancing safety. Another significant advantage is its cost-effectiveness, with a one-time purchase that provides lifetime access to premium features.


Sygic’s reliance on mobile devices could be a disadvantage for some users who prefer a standalone GPS unit. Battery life and the potential for overheating during long usage are notable concerns.

Furthermore, while the map data is generally accurate and reliable, occasional updates are necessary, requiring an internet connection and potentially leading to delays if not planned in advance.

TomTom GO Navigation

For truckers searching for a reliable GPS navigation solution, the TomTom GO Navigation series merits serious consideration.

The TomTom trucker GPS units are designed with professionals in mind. This lineup offers specialized truck, bus, and large vehicle routing that takes into account the size, weight, cargo, and maximum speed to suggest the best routes for safety and efficiency.


The TomTom GO Navigation app distinguishes itself by offering up-to-date, high-quality maps stored directly on the user’s device. This allows for efficient routing even when offline, which is especially beneficial for truck drivers who traverse remote areas with limited internet connectivity.

Another standout feature is its traffic information system, which provides accurate, real-time traffic updates to help avoid congestion and delays. The app’s interface is intuitive, making it easy for users to plan and adjust their routes with just a few taps.

The TomTom GO Navigation app also incorporates advanced lane guidance, ensuring that drivers are always in the correct lane for upcoming turns or exits. This could significantly reduce stress and enhance safety during navigation.

Furthermore, the cost factor is appealing. With a subscription model that offers flexibility and affordability, it’s an accessible choice for professional truck drivers and companies.


Despite the advantages of the TomTom GO Navigation app, there are some drawbacks worth considering. One of the main concerns is the subscription model, which, while affordable, may not appeal to all users, especially those who prefer a one-time purchase.

Additionally, while offline maps are a significant plus, updating them requires frequent internet access, which could be inconvenient for some users. The app also relies heavily on the user’s mobile device, which means that performance and reliability are tied to the device’s capabilities and current condition.

Battery drain and potential overheating during prolonged use can also be issues, particularly for drivers on long-haul routes. Furthermore, some users have reported that the advanced lane guidance can sometimes be overly aggressive or inaccurate, which could lead to confusion in complex traffic situations or unfamiliar areas.

Lastly, as with any app-based solution, there might be compatibility issues with certain devices or operating systems, potentially limiting its use for some drivers.

How to Choose the Right GPS for Your Needs

how to choose the best gps for truckers needs

Picking the right trucking GPS involves more than just selecting a popular model. Here are some factors to consider that will help you match the features of a GPS to your specific needs.


budget constraints on GPSs

Decide on a budget and look for devices that fall within that range. Remember, a trucking GPS is an investment in safety and efficiency, so it may be worth stretching your budget for a device with comprehensive features.

Keep in mind that higher-priced GPS devices often come with more advanced features, such as real-time traffic updates, larger displays, and a broader database for hazard alerts. However, numerous affordable options provide essential navigation aids and basic functions necessary for safe and efficient travel.

Balancing cost with functionality is key. Investing a bit more upfront can lead to greater savings in time and fuel over the long run.

Truck Specifics

Consider the specifics of your truck, such as height, weight, and axel length. Ensure the truck GPS systems you choose can be accurately configured to match your vehicle’s details for precise routing.

A GPS navigation device that can accommodate the information relevant to your truck’s load type, whether hazardous materials or oversized loads, can further refine your route options to comply with legal and safety regulations.

Additionally, knowing the GPS’s ability to incorporate real-time data, such as weather conditions and road closures, can ensure that your truck specifics are considered in the context of current travel conditions.

Finally, the inclusion of rest stops, weigh stations, and refueling stations that can accommodate your truck’s specifics can be crucial for long-haul journeys, enhancing both efficiency and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Frequency of Use

How often do you plan to use the GPS? For more frequent use, you may want to invest in a device with a subscription-based, live-update service to ensure your device remains at the cutting edge.

For occasional users, a basic model with essential navigation features may suffice, minimizing investment while still providing reliable guidance on less frequent journeys.

Individuals who rely on truck GPS technology daily, such as professional truck drivers, may find that advanced models with ongoing updates and live traffic information offer significant advantages for route planning and time management.

Lastly, considering the potential for technology to evolve, selecting trucking GPS devices with updated capabilities can ensure longevity and adaptability to future navigation requirements.

Additional Features

Do you need your truck GPS to do more than just provide directions? Look into the additional services offered by different devices, such as Bluetooth connectivity, dashcam integration, or voice command capabilities.

Some truck GPS models offer Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing for the easy downloading and installing of the latest upgraded map software without the need for a computer connection.

Traffic prediction technology is another advanced feature that analyzes historical traffic data and current conditions to forecast traffic jams, helping drivers avoid delays.

Lastly, multi-route planning capabilities enable drivers to input multiple destinations and optimize the route efficiently, saving time and fuel for busy or commercial drivers.

The Future of Truck GPS Technology

the future of GPS technology

The future of truck GPS technology is brighter than the headlights on an oncoming rig. We are seeing advancements in augmented reality, integration with fleet management systems, predictive analytics for route planning, and even autonomous navigation capabilities.

These technologies promise to make even the best truck GPS devices smarter, more efficient, and more intuitive. They could even someday handle most driving tasks, allowing truckers to focus on higher-level logistics and safety concerns.

However, with these exciting prospects also come some challenges, such as data security, industry-wide tech adoption, and regulatory hurdles. Navigating these waters will be critical for companies and drivers to ensure they stay at the forefront of trucking technology.

Navigating the Road Ahead

navigating the road ahead

A truck GPS is more than just a navigational tool. It’s a partner on the road, helping truckers tackle the challenges and enjoy the thrills of the lifestyle.

By investing in the best truck GPS for your needs, you’re not only ensuring a safer, more efficient drive but also setting yourself up for success in an industry that continues to evolve rapidly.

Now, it’s time to find the GPS that will help you keep on trucking. Remember, having the best truck GPS is just the beginning of your technological toolkit—there’s a world of possibilities waiting on the horizon.

Author: Daniel Bowman

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